SPRINGFIELD, NJ — The second workshop meeting under the revamped format brought the topic of redevelopment to the forefront, as town residents heard more from experts regarding three major construction projects in town.
Watch the video of the presentation here.
The three projects in question are the Larkin Project, on the corner of Church Mall, the Gomes Project, which borders Morris Avenue and the Saks Project, located on Upper Millburn Avenue.
Over the course of the presentation, Township Engineer Michael Disko, township planner Keenan Hughes and redevelopment attorney Matthew Jessup explained the facets of each project, displaying final renderings of the buildings, and explaining some finer points of development, including the PILOT program, and where each project is at.
Following the meeting, Jessup spoke with TAPinto Springfield about the presentation, and said that public sessions like the workshop meeting are a good way to keep people informed.
"I think it's always important for the public to be updated from time to time on the status of these transformative projects in town. Two ways to do that, one, when we bring actions before the governing body that they need to vote on and typically involve some sort of public presentation ... and two, seminars like this."
Jessup continued, "This is now the second one of these that we've done, and hopefully we're providing more information to the public in a convenient fashion."
In regard to questions about the timetable for development, Jessup also noted that two of the three projects are proceeding at a normal schedule, with only one, the Gomes property experiencing delays.
"I think with respect to the Saks project and the Charlie Larkin project, they have been proceeding at a pace that we expected from day one," Jessup said. "The Gomes project, as you heard tonight, has been delayed by virtue of things like the DEP issue and the JCP&L issue, both of which you heard tonight.
"Those are the main causes for that one on that one site. With respect to the other two, I think they've been moving along the way. We certainly have expected them to from day one."
Mike Scalera, the co-chair of the Springfield Business Improvement District said that having meetings like this is helpful for him in that role, as it helps to spread information.
"As the chair of the business improvement district, that's actually my job," Scalera said. "People come to me, they want to know about redevelopment, all the updates, what's happening. So it was very important for me to be here to gather all the information together for the residents."
He also said that these meetings are helpful, as they set residents up with facts rather than leaving them to guess about timetables on their own.
"10 years ago, up until about two years ago, I've been told by residents and people around the area that it's never gonna happen," Scalera said. So by all this redevelopment having renderings and final approvals going through, I see people have the reality."